Rohit finds his groove as India outplay Australia in final warm-up; also enter Kohli the '6th bowler'
- United Arab Emirates
India fine-tuned their T20 World Cup preparations with a convincing nine-wicket win over Australia in their final warm-up game here on Wednesday but the sixth bowler's slot remained a worry as even Virat Kohli rolled his arm over going into the tournament proper.
Captaining the side with Kohli only taking the field to bowl, Rohit Sharma (60 retired off 41) showed sublime touch alongside opening partner K L Rahul (39 off 31) as India chased down Australia's 152 for five in 17.5 overs.
Suryakumar Yadav (38 not out off 27) came at number three in Kohli's absence and got valuable time in the middle which should boost his confidence going ahead.
Hardik Pandya (14 not out off 8) came at four to finish the game and he did it with a clean hit over the bowler's head.
The batting department looks more or less settled and the five specialist bowlers also inspire confidence but the same can't be said about the extra bowling option with Hardik not bringing his all-round skills to the table at the moment.
''Hardik is coming along pretty well, but it'll be a while before he will start to bowl. He hasn't started bowling, but he should be ready by the start of the tournament,'' said Rohit at the toss for the warm-up match against Australia.
Skipper Kohli kept things tight with two overs of medium pace but to expect him to do the job in high-pressure scenarios would be asking for too much from him.
India conceded 58 runs off the last five overs and that is something they would like to improve on.
After losing the toss, India put up a decent bowling effort.
India had Australia on the mat at 11 for three after Aaron Finch opted to bat first. David Warner's barren run continued after a failed attempt at a reverse sweep had him trapped in front off Ravichandran Ashwin.
Smith smashed Shardul Thakur for three successive fours in the 17th over before Stoinis hit a straight six and a boundary off mystery spinner Varun Chakaravarthy, who conceded 23 runs off his two overs.
India, however, would be a tad disappointed to give away so many runs in the death overs and help Australia's recovery.
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